Another COVID Patient to Get Ivermectin After Court Order

Marcia Frellick

August 31, 2021

Editor's note: Find the latest COVID-19 news and guidance in Medscape's Coronavirus Resource Center.

Another case, another state, another judge ordering a hospital to give a patient a controversial horse de-worming drug to treat a severe case of COVID-19.

This time, a judge in Ohio has ordered West Chester Hospital, part of the University of Cincinnati network, to provide Jeffrey Smith, 51, with Ivermectin, according to the Ohio Capital Journal. Judge Gregory Howard’s ruling comes after Smith’s wife sued to force the hospital to provide the controversial drug to her husband, who has been hospitalized since July 15.

Julie Smith has gotten Fred Wagshul, MD, to agree to administer ivermectin to her husband. Wagshul is known as a member of a group of doctors who say the CDC and the FDA are lying about ivermectin’s usefulness in fighting COVID. Both agencies have warned against using the drug to treat COVID, saying there is no evidence it works and that it can be dangerous in large amounts.

According to the Ohio Capital Journal, Wagshul accused the CDC and FDA of engaging in a “conspiracy” to prevent ivermectin’s use.

But Arthur Caplan, professor of bioethics at New York University’s Langone Medical Center, said, “it is absurd that this order was issued,” according to an interview in Ars.Technica. “If I were these doctors, I simply wouldn’t do it.”

It is not the first time a judge has ordered ivermectin’s use against a hospital’s wishes.

A 68-year-old woman with COVID-19 in an Illinois hospital started receiving the controversial drug in May after her family sued the hospital to have someone administer it.

Nurije Fype's daughter, Desareta, filed suit against Elmhurst Hospital, part of Edward-Elmhurst Health, asking that her mother receive the treatment, which is approved as an antiparasitic drug but not approved for the treatment of COVID-19. Desareta Fype was granted temporary guardianship of her mother.

The FDA has published guidance titled "Why You Should Not Use Ivermectin to Treat or Prevent COVID-19" on its website. The National Institutes of Health said there is not enough data to recommend either for or against its use in treating COVID-19.

But, DuPage County Judge James Orel ruled Fype should be allowed to get the treatment.

Three days later, according to the Daily Herald, the lawyer for the hospital, Joseph Monahan, argued the hospital could not find a hospital-affiliated doctor to administer the ivermectin.

The Herald reported the judge told the hospital to "get out of the way" and allow any board-certified doctor to administer the drug.

When Fype's doctor was unable to administer it, the legal team found another doctor, Alan Bain, DO, to do it. Monahan said Bain was granted credentials to work at the hospital so he could administer it Monday evening.

Orel denied a request from Desareta Fype's lawyer to order the hospital's nurses to administer further doses. The judge also denied a request to hold the hospital in contempt of court.

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